Sunday, November 10, 2019

November Monthly Newsletter

Heart to Heart Meeting Reminders for the month of November


For November 2019
Hi Monica, 

Thank you to everyone who filled out a survey as they were very helpful in moving forward. The good news is there are going to be some great changes ahead so I encourage you to attend a meeting to see what is changing! I will try to summarize things below but it will be easier to attend a meeting and see in person. 
I am also adding a special drawing for a free dinner that will be only open to new attendees (or people we haven't seen in a while) and the people who invited them. I will do this at least through the end of this year. 
I am sad that our Oct Bunco Night had to be cancelled but there were not enough attendees. I could not find an available date at Shawn O'Donnell's for our next one so it will be held at Inspark instead. Since it costs money to rent Inspark and I will be providing some heavy appetizers for everyone, the cost will be collected upfront. I will still need a minimum of 20 people to RSVP or the event will be cancelled. I hope the new date works for everyone!


In order to utilize our website more, we have decided to offer a "Featured Member". You provide us with an article about you and your business that we can publish on our website. You can use 500-1200 words, up to 5 images, and unlimited text links. Content is subject to approval.
This is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and will remain on the site indefinitely. Your article will also be shared on Facebook, highlighted in our monthly newsletter and highlighted on the homepage of our website as well. You can write your own article by upgrading your membership to just $55/year!
Make sure to check out the Past Featured Members as well. If you want to sign up for your own Featured Member spot, then please upgrade your membership today!


Thank you for filling out the surveys. These are the changes we are going to make going forward. I will post a summary of my findings in the next section. 
NO MORE H2H INTRO! I got the message loud and clear so I have created a half sheet handout that has all the information we previously droned on about at the start of each meeting. 
DINNER ON ME! To help encourage our members to reach out to people who either have never attended a meeting before or who haven't attended in a while, I will be collecting business cards from our newbies and the people who invited them. They will go into a special drawing to get a free dinner from me. 
WELCOMING COMMITTEE! There were several responses that said it would be helpful if we were more welcoming and inclusive instead of sticking with people we already know. I have a group of volunteers who will be reaching out to our newest attendees and also members we haven't seen in a while to invite them back into the group. 
EXTRA TIME! Since we should be reducing the time it takes to do our H2H intro, we should have some extra time. The question is... what do we use it for? Over the remaining meetings this year, we will experiment with a few different options but look for a new survey so I can find out what our members prefer. 
Here are the other changes that happened earlier this year:
  • There will be a $5 cost to attend special meetings like our Anniversary Party, Holiday Party and when we have Speakers. If you are a paid member, your entry is free if you RSVP in advance!
  • Text message reminders to RSVP sent out about a week before each meeting (paid member perk)
  • Bunco is coming as a regular Adventure Outing in 2020! Read more about it below.
  • PLEASE RSVP on the website or through the mobile app. As you will see in the Venue Updates below, this is becoming critical for every single meeting going forward.
  • I will re-evaluate the membership dues amount in Dec. I am back on track for dues this year but if we cannot resolve our issues with the venue, this will need to be addressed.


    Here are the overall results from both paid members and free members. I did give more weight to the paid member surveys when it came to implementing ideas. 
    • Non-Members haven't paid because they haven't attended enough - 5x
    • What holds people back from attending?
      • Schedule conflict - 11x
      • Out of town - 6x
      • Dinner expense // Don't earn enough - 5x
    • What can we improve?
      • Feedback on commercials/issues/problems - 15x
      • More spotlight tables // More time for commercials - 5x
    • What do you like?
      • Attendee quality - 21x
      • Food quality - 7x
    • What do you dislike?
      • Food quality // social vs networking // RSVP issues - 3x
    • Ideas?
      • Stop with repetitive rules - 5x
      • Lunch meeting - 2x
      • Be less clicky - 2x
      • Spotlight tables & speakers only contribute to door prize drawing - 1x
      • Missing You // Welcoming Committee - 1x


    I was recently made aware of some items that the venue has been struggling with. The first issue is that we are not meeting the room minimum for the food and beverage purchases. Of the $16 that people pay for the dinner, only $12 of that counts toward our minimum. This means that we need to have AT LEAST 25 people per meeting purchasing dinner. We sometimes don't get 20 people at our meetings so we are falling short for certain.
    I was also made aware that not everyone is purchasing dinner or a beverage at our meetings. It may appear that the coffee and tea is provided for free but it is NOT. Also, to address the issue of people not purchasing dinner, the venue will kindly ask that you pay them $5. This will cover a beverage (soda/coffee/tea) and the time it takes our server to service our event.
    Our server has to do all the set up and tear down of the meeting space, take our orders, clear dishes and more so even if you are NOT EATING, there is still a cost to use the space.
    To address these two issues, Shawn O'Donnell's will raise the price for the buffet to $18 starting in January 2020. We will need a MINIMUM of 22 people purchasing dinner at each meeting.  
    PLEASE TIP THE SERVER until our price change in 2020 as it will help us keep the venue happy. It is getting hard for the venue to schedule a server for our group because they can make double the money in tips by working upstairs for the same amount of time.
    If we cannot resolve these problems, I will have to do one of two things.
    1. Raise the dues next year. I will need to have enough money to cover the food and beverage shortage for the room. It could be a shortage of $50-100 PER MEETING so the dues increase would have to be a $10-15/year more per membership level.
    2. Collect the cost of dinner when you RSVP. This will cause a serious restructuring of our meetings behind the scenes and it will require staffing at the door for check in. We will also need to make some sort of arrangement with the venue to indicate who has paid and who has not.
    Finally, if we cannot get at least 20 RSVPs to each meeting on our website, I will have to cancel the meeting. We usually get at least 20 attending the meetings but sometimes we don't and we can no longer afford to hold a meeting with less than 20 attendees. This means we will probably cut our meetings to once a month during the summer as our attendance typically is low during that time of year.


    There is a mobile app that you can download and install on your phone that might make it easier for our members. There are various things you can do with the app like:
    • Viewing/editing your profile (it will show when you are due for renewal)
    • Contact other members (if they made their info available to see)
    • See list of events
    • RSVP/Pay for events
    • See the list of events you have RSVP'd to
    • MORE!


    At every meeting, we are collecting change for Clothes for Kids. A bucket will be passed around but it is optional for you to contribute. We are also collecting any gently used clothing items for all ages and sizes from toddlers to teens. They are also in dire need of large department store bags. You can drop off your donations in their bin behind their store. They also have a wishlist on their website if you want to donate but don't know what they need. 
    We are also collecting items for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County. The items we need are gift items for moms. The kids need a pool of gifts where they can "shop" for a holiday gift for their mom. Things like lotions, purses, scarves, slippers, jewelry, adult coloring books, etc. Maybe you have items in your gift closet you can donate or items you received from someone that just isn't a fit for you but would be a welcome gift for another woman? Think about what your kid might want to gift you this holiday season. You may also check the wishlist on their website for more ideas or to make a monetary donation. 


    Kim and Stephanie had a great idea to offer a fun event outside of our meetings for about $30-40 per person. The idea was to do it monthly but they don't have time to plan fun events on a regular basis for our group. They will still organize an event if they think enough people are interested. Having more people to help organize is key!
    In the meantime, I have decided to add more bunco nights to our calendar! The goal is to have 4 per year with one of those being our Anniversary Party. At the Anniversary Party, it will be the only one that paid members can play for free as it is my way of thanking those of you who support our group. I just can't afford to do that multiple times a year. ;)
    All other Bunco Nights will cost $5 in advance or $10 if your RSVP less than a week ahead. There is still the expectation to purchase food and drinks so overall budget for about $25 for a night of fun and laughter.
    The idea is to try for a Wednesday between the two Monday meetings of the month. Right now the dates are Thu Feb 6 (Inspark), Wed April 22 (Shawn's & Anniversary Party), Wed Aug 19 (Shawn's) and Wed Nov 18 (Shawn's).
    FREE RSVP! We need 20 RSVPs to move forward so please let us know if you can attend! H2H Bunco Night on Thu Feb 6th, 2020. This event is only to gauge interest.
    This will be at Inspark so the setup will be a little different as I need to pay for the venue and order heavy appetizers. It will be potluck so you can bring an item to contribute if you want. I will need to know ahead of time if you are planning on bringing wine or other alcohol so I can purchase a liquor license. Also, we cannot hold events on Wed evenings at Inspark so we had to move it to a Thursday. 
    • MEMBER COST: $16
    • NON MEMBER COST: $21
    • RSVP AFTER JAN 30: add $5
    Secret Travel Society is on hold until Andrea is back to help me organize our events.

    Monica, Your Travel Gal saves you time and money PLUS alleviates the stress and frustration of planning your next trip! Monica specializes in luxurious vacations, extravagant honeymoons, multi-generational trips, corporate incentive/reward travel and bucket list destinations.
    425-772-7819 ~

    No comments:

    Post a Comment